Disclaimer: I own nothing.


Lorelai Gilmore was eating a salad. She hated salad, and yet. Shaking the salad bag, she sat at the kitchen table. She took a bite, and promptly gave up on the salad. Lorelai was considering a second try when she heard someone knocking on the door. As she rose from the table, however, she realized that someone was tapping on Rory's window, and not the door. She entered Rory's darkened room and flipped the light switch, revealing Dean peeking under the drawn shade over the window. He closed his eyes and winced when he saw it was Lorelai and not Rory. Lorelai crossed the room and snapped the shade up, duly giving Dean credit for the involuntary flinch he gave at the movement.

She opened the window, and leaned over to meet Dean on an eye-to-eye level within the window frame. "Well, hi there." she greeted him, a cautious sarcasm to her tone.

"Hi." he sighed.

"How you doing?"

"Fine." he answered.

"Good, good." Lorelai nodded. "Shouldn't you have a squeegee with you or something?"

"I was just--"

"Looking for Rory?" Lorelai supplied.

"Yeah." Dean admitted.

"She's not here."

"Okay...." Dean felt stupid. What was he doing here?

"I'll tell her you tapped." Lorelai stood up straight and moved to shut the window.

"Thanks." he said, but didn't move from what had to be an uncomfortable half-bent over position.

"Something else?" she leaned over again.

"I just wanted to tell you I know that things got all messed up. And I'm sorry."

"I know."

"If Rory were my daughter, I wouldn't let her anywhere near me."

"We have a consensus then." Lorelai said, bitingly.

"I would never do anything to hurt Rory. Ever. I wouldn't hurt her in any way, shape, or form. I know that her reputation is important to both you and her. I just wanted to know if you could forgive me. You're her best friend, and the only way she and I can be together ever again is if I have the Lorelai stamp of approval."

"Dean...." Lorelai sighed. "Those are really hard to come by. Rubber stamps are so expensive, and I've just run out of ink."

"Lorelai." he begged. "Please be serious?"

"Serious?" she asked. "Okay. Here's serious: my daughter--my one and only daughter--is sixteen and she didn't come home one night because of you. Got it?"

"Yes." he flinched again.

"But I also know...." she softened a bit. "I know that you're serious about her. So as long as you promise not to fall asleep with her again, I'll consider it over and done with. It's in the past, okay?"

"I promise."

"Okay." Lorelai nodded and Dean turned to leave. "Oh, and Dean?"

"Yeah." he turned again to face her.

"Thanks for asking. You've got approval." she cracked a small smile.

"No problem." he nodded, and left as Lorelai shut the window.